Couple’s anger over estate parking fine

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Extra signs are set to be installed on a Gaywood housing estate to help enforce new parking restrictions in the area.

County roads officials have insisted that the tighter rules now in operation on the Springwood estate have been operating well so far.

But the move comes too late for one West Norfolk couple, who claim they were fined unfairly for parking there because they could not see the notification in its current position.

Wayne Batterbee and Kayleigh Smith, from Clenchwarton, were hit with a ticket last Thursday, around a month after the new residents’ parking zone restrictions came into force.

But they maintain a sign warning drivers of the restrictions, sited at the mini-roundabout with Gayton Road, is inadequate for drivers turning into the estate from the direction of the town centre.

Mr Batterbee says the problem arises because motorists have to give way to their way at the mini-roundabout.

He said: “You haven’t got time to look at the sign.

“If you’re coming from the hospital, I can understand it as you have got time to read it but, from the town direction, you don’t.”

The couple have already submitted one appeal against the fine, which was rejected.

And they maintain that moving some signs or installing more signs in the area proves their case that there is a problem and should mean fines like theirs are classed as invalid.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “The new parking restrictions were introduced to tackle parking pressures reported by residents on the estate and early indications are that the scheme is working well.

“When we introduce any new scheme we always monitor how it’s working.

“While there’s no question that the current signs are enforceable, following feedback we have offered to put in additional signs and move some existing signs a few metres to help remind people that this is now a residential parking zone.”

The new rules were introduced in response to concerns among residents of the estate about the number of drivers parking there while visiting the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The measures were introduced at around the same time that new charges and residents’ permits were also brought into force on the town’s South Quay, which officials hope will make it easier for residents and visitors to use the area.

Although the new rules were drawn up by county council officials, enforcement of the regulations is the responsibility of West Norfolk Council, who declined to comment.

However, the authorities are also involved in a 
wider debate about plans to extend on-street parking charges to other parts of the county.

Draft charging proposals have been put forward for parts of Hunstanton, Sheringham and Cromer, although talks on the idea stalled last month.